L'ÉPOPÉE DE PABUJI (RAJASTHAN)
A Rajasthani epic
In Kolu, in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan, there are the only two temples dedicated to Pabuji, a divine hero incarnated from a Hindu deity in the XIVth century in the Rathore rajput clan. Shunned by the Brahmins, Pabuji is nevertheless worshipped by the nomadic Rebari shepherds of tribal caste. "Only two temples" built, we should say, as a rich tradition of the portable temple, in the form of a painted narrative scroll, the phaṛ, developed. If these nomadic shepherds, who until 30 years ago led their flocks through the Aravalli range and across the Thar desert, could not regularly come to witness their devotion in the hero's village, then the hero had to come to them. This is how the Bhopos, priests-musicians-storytellers-dancers, set off to meet them with their sacred phaṛ rolled up under their arm, and spent whole nights recounting and praising the hero's divine exploits in front of an electrified audience.
Conference in May 2023 at the Toit du Monde gallery.
François Pannier et Adrien Viel